Business travelers need a projector that's small enough to carry anywhere, but big enough to lend impact to their presentations. The $499 ASUS P1 DLP LED projector fills those needs well, offering a bright, colorful image with plenty of options for those who like to tweak image settings.
ViewSonic tried to imbue the W200 with some style, but it backfired a bit. The top of the projector is a two-tone plastic, with a wavy line in the middle separating a brushed gray section from a black, metallic-flaked section. Not only do we think it's a bit gaudier than the flat gray metal of the ASUS P1, but it also picks up fingerprints too easily.
Square with rounded corners, the top and bottom of the W200 bulges out slightly to accommodate the lens and focusing ring. At 5.1 x 5 x 1.3 inches, the W200 is practically the same size as the ASUS P1 (5.1 x 4.9 x 1.3 inches), and both weigh 14.6 ounces. You won't know the difference in your bag.
The top of the W200 has five buttons for navigating the on-screen menus. The right side has a port for connecting the VGA adapter, as well as a miniUSB port and an SD card slot, two features lacking on the ASUS P1. On the bottom, the W200 has a small screw foot that allows you to project at multiple angles.
Where the on-screen menu for the ASUS P1 is a small, simple black-and-gray affair, ViewSonic's is large and colorful, and boasts a plethora of options, including presets for modes and anti-keystoning. We especially liked the ability to set, among other things, the brightness and contrast, and save them as a custom profile.
Still, some may prefer the more limited menus on the ASUS P1, as it's faster to get to settings such as scene mode. ViewSonic's more complex menus may also make it start up more slowly. It took 25 seconds for the W200 to show our notebook's desktop, twice as long as the ASUS P1 (12 seconds).
The ViewSonic W200 is a DLP LED projector with a brightness of 200 lumens and a resolution of 1280 x 800. Using our light meter, we measured a brightness of 90 lux, which is below the advertised measurement, but higher than the P1's 63 lux.
The ViewSonic offered impressive contrast and rich colors, which manifested themselves in darker movie scenes. When watching "Kingdom of Heaven," we saw less pixelation in forest scenes, and the gleaming armor and bright colors of the knight's flags shone brighter in the desert battles. Similarly, space scenes in "Star Trek" were nice and rich,
At six feet away from the screen, the ViewSonic projected an image that was about 6 feet 6 inches in size, almost identical to the P1.
Vents on all four sides and the bottom funnel air through the projector, but the ViewSonic's fan was still noticeable, especially in a quiet room. Even so, after 15 minutes, the top of the projector reached 110 degrees Fahrenheit, and the bottom was 101 degrees. Both are higher than the P1, which measured 101 degrees on top, and 96 degrees on the bottom.
With comprehensive menus, USB and SD card inputs, and bright and colorful images, the ViewSonic PLED-W200 is a great palm-size projector. We're not fans of its fingerprint-magnet top, but it's something we're willing to overlook given everything else this device brings to the table. Business travelers looking for a small palm-size projector for presentations, plus after-hours amusement, will find the W200 an excellent companion.